A lines-of-defense model for managing health threats: A review

  • Heckhausen J
  • Wrosch C
  • Schulz R
  • 2


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


As older individuals face challenges of progressive disease and increasing disability and approach the end of their lives, their capacity for controlling their environment and own health and functioning declines. The Lines-of-Defense Model is based on the Motivational Theory of Life-Span Development and proposes that individuals can adjust their control striving to the progressive physical decline in distinctly organized cycles of goal engagement and goal disengagement that reflect sequentially organized lines of defense. This organized process allows individuals to hold onto and defend still feasible levels of physical health and functioning in activities of daily living, while adjusting to increasing impairments. As physical constraints become more severe towards the end of life, avoiding psychological suffering becomes the focus of individuals’ strivings for control. The Lines-of-Defense Model can also be applied to the inverse process of growth in functioning during recovery and rehabilitation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • activities of daily living
  • ageing
  • avoidance
  • control
  • defense model
  • development
  • geriatrics
  • health threats
  • life span
  • lines of defense model
  • motivational theory
  • motivational theory of life-span development
  • physical
  • physical decline
  • physical health
  • psychological suffering

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • J Heckhausen

  • C Wrosch

  • R Schulz

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free